Salsa "On1"

Salsa is the most popular of all Latin dances! Its the perfect way to get fit, meet a whole bunch of new people, gain confidence, de-stress, all while having lots of fun!

Salsa dancing has a huge social appeal. There is a salsa social/party or event on most days of the week for you to enjoy your new skill. This is the kind of exercise where fun prevails and burning calories is just the added bonus! The workout buddies are all there by default and ready to dance with you!

No partner required - no experience necessary! Our classes and courses can take you from complete Beginner through to dancing like a "Pro"! 5 levels to choose from, Beginners (level1), Beginners PLUS+ (level2), Improvers (level3), Intermed (level4), Advanced (level5).

Salsa courses are 4 or 8 weeks. However, to complete a level varies in length. Fundamental Beginners course (level 1) consist of (2) two 8 week coures. Beginners PLUS+ consists of (2) four 8 week courses, Improvers of (5) five 8 week courses, intermediate is ongoing and so is advanced.

2020 Salsa Timetable
Next course Where Cost Register online

Salsa Beginners (L1)
Tue 07 Jul @ 6:30pm

Empire Dance Studios
2 Bond Street, Grey Lynn
8-week course
Pre-register $140
OR $165 cash @ door

Salsa BegPlus (L2)
Tue 07 Jul @ 7:30pm

Empire Dance Studios
2 Bond Street, Grey Lynn
8-week course
Pre-register $140
OR $165 cash @ door

Salsa Imp/Int (L3)
Tue 07 Jul @ 8:30pm

Empire Dance Studios
2 Bond Street, Grey Lynn
8-week course
Pre-register $140
OR $165 cash @ door
Wanna try a class OR
attend casually? No problem!
Empire Dance Studios
2 Bond Street, Grey Lynn
Try a class OR attend casually
$25/pp cash only please


The history of "Salsa" dance is peppered with hearsay and contradiction. Although few would disagree that the music and dance forms originate largely in Cuban Son, most agree that Salsa as we know it today is a North American interpretation of the older forms. New York's Latino community had a vibrant musical and dancing scene throughout the '50s but found limited success with the 'Anglo' mainstream. In the 1970s, adoption of the term "Salsa" reduced the linguistic and cultural barriers to mainstream adoption of Latin music and dance.

The modernization of the Mambo in the 1950s was influential in shaping what would become salsa. There is debate as to whether the dance we call Salsa today originated in Cuba or Puerto Rico. Cuba's influence in North America was diminished after Castro's revolution and the ensuing trade embargo. New York's Latino community was largely Puerto-Rican. Salsa is one of the main dances in both Cuba and Puerto Rico and is known world-wide.

salsa classes on1

Distinctive moves & characteristics

  • Basic: Forward and back (from Mambo). Exectued within an 8-count bar and stepped over 6 counts. Breaking steps on 1 or 2 and 5 or 6.
  • Cross body lead: (from West Coast Swing) Where the leader opens up counter-clockwise allowing a slot for the follower to cross and change positions.
  • Two-handed partnerwork: Turnpatterns are common for many dance styles, however two-handed turnpatters is very characteristic for salsa.
  • Body Movement: Shoulders, hips, ribcage movement and isolations are characteristics all salsa dancers strive to master.
  • Shines: Solo footwork sequences with influences from afro-cuban rumba, pachanga, tap, cha cha and more.

What is Salsa dancing?

The word "Salsa" means something different to everyone. It is a term that encompasses a number of different things such as Latin dancing, the music, the culture, the style and flair, etc. Salsa is very cross-cultural and has to be respected. Although many countries around the world listen to the same salsa music, everyone dances it differently. In some Latin American countries, people interpret the music in their own particular way and dance salsa using their own unique blend of regional steps, styling, and turn combinations.

Salsa dancing is unique because it can absorb so many steps from all other dances. A salsa dancer in Cuba may not dance the same way as a salsa dancer from Colombia or a salsa dancer from Mexico or New York, Los Angles or Italy! However, everyone dances to the same music, may use the same steps, but look different because they add their own style or "flavour" from their region! Different salsa dance styles have developed due to this and you will hear people talking about "Salsa on1", "Salsa on2", "Cuban salsa", "Colombian style salsa", "Puerto Rican style salsa" etc. But we are dancing the same genre - Salsa!

There is no "correct" text-book method on how to dance social salsa. What matters most is dancing to the rhythm of the music. Despite the differences in style, all who dance salsa obey the underlying 8-beat rhythm. For competition style salsa, each competition will have their own guide lines on what style of salsa is allowed. Having said that, at Latinissimo we have created the most structured and most comprehensive salsa curriculum we have ever come across. Our instructors follow this curriculum to make you the best salsa dancer you can be!

At Latinissimo we teach the two primary linear styles - Salsa "on1" and Salsa "on2".

 Did you know: Salsa as a dance and music had two distinctive developments.

1 The first being the Mambo era in the 50's and 60's due to the influx of Caribbean immigrants - mainly from Cuba (pre/post Cuban revolution) in New York.

This era is known as the "Palladium Era". At the time, the music was called "Mambo", therefor the dance was Mambo too. Puerto Rican dancer Pedro Aguilar aka "Cuban Pete" was the most famous dancer at the time.

2 The second being in the 1970's as Puerto Rican migrants contributed heavily to the New York Salsa development.

This era was know as the "NuYorikan Era" with musicians such as Hector Lavoe, Ray Baretto and many more. The term "Salsa" was born in 1971 at the Cheetah Club. New York dancer Eddie Torres popularised the mambo calling it "Salsa Nightclub style". Today known as "Salsa on2".    

Description of levels

Salsa Beginners (level 1) - 8/16 weeks to complete the level

At this level you will learn all the key elements and fundamentals of "linear" style salsa (on1). This course is aimed for the student who has little or no experience in salsa. We start from the very beginning with all the salsa basics, rhythm & timing. We will then continue with the fundamentals of partner dancing, basic lead and following techniques, turns and how to put it all together into basic figures and fun easy flowing variations.

Throughout this course, your goal is to learn the basic terminology, understand the 7 fundamental basic salsa steps and be able to lead (if you are the leader) OR be able to follow (if you are the follower) the basic figures and variations taught in the course. The basics taught in this fundamental course are absolutely vital as they will follow you throughout and always be referred to in higher levels. When joining this course you will be able to download complimentary Latinissimo’s instructional salsa beginners video. We feel the beginners course is the most important salsa course of them all and the complimentary video will serve as a tool to complement your course. It will also allow you to re-visit and repeat the basics in your own time in the case you forget something or are unsure or want to feel more prepared for classes. The video should help you get it 100%!

Pre-requisite: None

IMG 2979 Sep2018 600px

Salsa Beginners PLUS+ (level 2) - 16 weeks to complete the level

Beginners PLUS is for those who have completed Level 1 (Beginners Salsa) and feel they are ready to move on, or may have done a salsa beginners course elsewhere and are not sure where they fit in. This course will explore how you can change the look of the basics you have learned in Level 1 without changing the actual basic steps.

Basics boring...?! No way! It is here you will creatively explore the beginners level further and find out how much fun it can really be with the simplicity of the basics and its variations! This course will also give you an even more solid foundation and understanding of the basics and build your confidence to prepare you for Level 3 (Improvers). Please note that this course is not suitable for absolute beginners as it is assumed that you have full understanding of the basic steps and terminology.

Pre-requisite: Must have full understanding of Level 1

salsa begplus nz 600px

Salsa Improvers (level 3) - 40 weeks to complete the level

In this course you will learn to combine and create variations of the fundamentals taught in the beginners course, taking your salsa dancing to a new level - Improvers. You will learn how to make your dancing flow with simple, fun and interesting concepts and moves.

Basic salsa styling is introduced. By the end of the course, you should be able to dance to slow and normal salsa music, lead and follow improver level combinations and keep the timing while dancing.

Pre-requisite: Must have full understanding of Absolute Beginners & Beginners PLUS+ (levels 1 & 2).

salsa beg intensive

Salsa Intermediate (level 4) - ongoing

These classes are for dancers who are familiar with and are comfortable with all the steps, turns, partner fundamentals and variations of beginners & improver levels. We will continue with exciting combinations by incorporating even more variations of all the basic fundamentals. You will learn new skills and fundamentals that an intermediate salsa dancers should posses and master.

We will also focus on, and enhance your lead/following technique. New footwork variations working on timing, weight transfer, speed, technique, balance, body movement, arms and more. Also introduction to lead and follow multiple spinning. This level will use all the key aspects of the previous levels to prepare the you for the more challenging variations and shines of advanced (level 5).

Pre-requisite: Must have full understanding of beginners & improvers (levels 1, 2 & 3)


8wk salsa image

Salsa Advanced (level 5) - ongoing

The pace at this level is much higher than any other level due to the fact that we use all previous concepts and knowledge from all other courses. More challenging, but fun variations, styling for men & ladies, execution, shine, multiple spinning, "light n' shade", musicality, breaking the rules without loosing timing and much more. At this level there are no limits, it's advanced, anything goes!

Pre-requisite: Must have full understanding of levels ALL previous levels.

About Latinissimo

Latinissimo was first founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 specializing in street Latin dance. 2005 Latinissimo relocated to Auckland, New Zealand.

Directed by World Salsa Champion Giancarlo, Latinissimo as a school has performed, taught and competed across 4 continents, are multiple international and national champions and have produced two World Amateur Salsa Champions.

  • Latinissimo Dance New Zealand
  • 0210 29 88 164
  • Email us HERE
  • Candy Lane Studios, 44 Mt Eden Rd, Auckland
  • Empire Dance Studios, 2 Bond St, Auckland

Auckland Mt Eden

Auckland Grey Lynn

Follow us on Facebook